State Football Championships Recap: Divisions 4-7

DIVISION 4

Racine St. Catherine’s (14-0) capped an unbeaten season with an 8-7 win over previously undefeated St. Croix Central (13-1) in the Division 4 championship game of the State Football Finals Thursday night at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis. 

Da’Shaun Brown dove in from a yard out with 12 seconds to go in the game, and then streaked into the end zone to convert the two-point conversion to propel the Angels to the State title.

After a scoreless first half, the Panthers drew first blood with a one-yard scoring plunge by Keagen Berg with 3:36 remaining in the third quarter. It capped a 14-play, 64-yard drive that ate up 6:09 of the clock.  

Brown led all rushers in the game with 86 yards and a touchdown. He also completed 9-of-21 passes for 122 yards. Isaiah Dodd chipped in with 85 yards on the ground. Alkes Haeuser caught three passes for 41 yards, and Azarien Stevens added three catches for 26 yards. Defensively, Keenan Carter made a team-high nine tackles.

The Panthers were led on offense and defense by Ryan Larson. He rushed for 70 yards and made a game-high 11 tackles. Keagan also rushed for 70 yards and scored the only touchdown of the game for the Panthers. Austin Kopacz attempted only four passes in the game and complete one for 45 yards.

The Angels won the title in their first-ever State finals appearance, and St. Croix Central finishes runner-up in its fourth State finals experience and for the second straight season.

DIVISION 5

The beat goes on for Head Coach Bob Hyland and St. Mary’s Springs (14-0), which wins its eighth State championship with a 20-17 comeback victory over Stratford in the Division 5 State Football Final Thursday evening at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis.

It was the Ledger’s second straight championship after winning the Division 6 title in 2017.

Stratford had the upper hand for most of the first half, scoring on a one-yard run by Kade Ehrike and on a 40-yard pass from Max Schwabe to Vaughn Breit to take a 14-0 lead with 47 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Mark Orlandoni got the Ledgers on the board on a 21-yard burst up the middle to the end zone, cutting the St. Mary’s Springs deficit to 14-7 with 1:34 to play in the first half.

The Ledgers tied the game at 14-14 in the third quarter when Mitchell Waechter hit Cade Christensen in stride on a post pattern in the end zone from 29-yards out. The Tigers responded with a 15-play, 71-yard drive that consumed 8:11 of the clock that resulted in a 20-yard field goal by Reed Curtis with 38 seconds left in the third quarter.

St. Mary’s Springs orchestrated a 13-play, 72-yard drive that led to a 20-14 lead on a five-yard run by Marcus Orlandoni that turned out to be the game winner.

Orlandoni rushed for a game-high 124 yards with a pair touchdowns. Waechter completed 6-of-12 passes for 71 yards and a touchdown, and Christensen caught a game-high three passes for 50 yards and a score. Jake Hoch and Orlandoni led the Ledgers’ defense with a sack and 12 and 11 tackles, respectively.

Kade Ehrike rushed for 106 yards and a touchdown, and Derek Marten chipped in with 73 yards in the ground game to lead the Tigers. Max Schwabe attempted nine passes in the game, completing four for 82 yards and a touchdown.

The Ledgers’ title comes in their 11th experience in the championship final, and Stratford ends its season runner-up in its eighth State appearance.

DIVISION 6

Iola-Scandinavia (13-0) capped an undefeated season with a convincing 43-13 win over Racine Lutheran (11-3) in the Division 6 championship game of the State Football Finals at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Thursday afternoon.

The Thunderbirds built a 29-0 halftime lead with four touchdowns, including two on runs and a pair through the air. Bryce Huettner opened the scoring with a one-yard score run, and Alex Sharp added a 9-yard scoring romp later in the first quarter to give Iola-Scandinavia a 15-0 lead. In the second quarter, Connor Kurki hooked up with William Cady on a 21-yard scoring reception and then on a 29-yard strike to Carter Kurki later in the second quarter. The Thunderbirds defense stopped the Crusaders twice inside their five-yard line to hold Racine Lutheran scoreless in the first half.

The Crusaders began the second half with a 52-yard scoring pass on the first play from scrimmage with a Colton Krause to James Wilson connection to narrow the score to 29-7. Racine Lutheran recovered a fumble on its ensuing kickoff; however, they were unable to convert points on the possession.

Iola-Scandinavia took the ball over on downs and drove 68 yards in nine plays to open a 36-7 lead with 3:44 remaining in the third quarter, culminating with a one-yard carry by Huettner. He scored his third touchdown of the afternoon on an eight yard scamper to the end zone with 6:47 left to go in the game. Tyler Tanner scored on a seven-yard run for the Crusaders to complete the scoring with 3:26 remaining.

Huettner rushed for a game-high 156 yards and three touchdowns, and Connor Kurki completed 6-of-9 passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Thunderbirds’ offense, which scored on its first five possessions of the game. Huettner also led Iola-Scandinavia on defense with a team-high seven tackles.

Tyler Tenner rushed for a team-high 126 yards and a touchdown to lead the Crusaders on offense. Colton Krause complete 2-of-12 passes for 74 yards and a score. Defensively, they were led by Nolan Kraus and Colton Kraus with 11 and 10 tackles, respectively.

The Thunderbirds earned their first State title in four appearances in the championship game, and Racine Lutheran finishes runner-up in its first-ever advance to the final.

DIVISION 7

Black Hawk (13-0) completed an unbeaten season by winning the Division 7 championship with a 22-15 victory over previously undefeated Edgar (13-1) at the State Football Finals Thursday at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis.

Edgar led 15-14 after a sloppy first half as the teams combined for seven fumbles and an interception. After an Edgar fumble on the opening drive, Mitchell Quinn raced 44 yards to give the Warriors an 8-0 lead.

The Wildcats answered with a 4-yard run by Karson Butt to tie the game, and then took a 15-8 lead later in the first quarter on a 4-yard pass from Butt to Brock Handrick. The only score in the second half came after another Edgar turnover deep in their own territory. Colby Argall capped a 14-yard drive with a one-yard plunge to cut the Warriors’ deficit to 15-14.

The Warriors regained the lead with a methodical 18-play, 63-yard drive that consumed 9:54 of the clock. Kyle Lovelace scored on a 1-yard keeper to give Black Hawk the 22-15 winning margin with 12 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Black Hawk dominated the time of possession in the game, having a 34:50 to 13:50 advantage. Argall rushed for a game-high 109 yards and a touchdown. Lovelace and Quinn each added 75 yards on the ground to lead the Warriors offensive attack. The Black Hawk defense held Edgar to 164 yards in the game, including only 29 yards of total offense in the second half. Rece Sheldon led defense with seven tackles and a forced fumble and recovery.

Edgar was led offensively by Butt, who completed 6-of-9 passes for 68 yards and a touchdown. Kyle Brewster was the top rusher for the Wildcats with 33 yards. Kaleb Hafferman caught three passes for nine yards, and Drew Guden had two receptions for 55 yards. On defense, the Edgar intercepted two passes, and Ty Guden led all defenders with a game-high 13 tackles. On a special teams’ note, The Wildcats’ Mason Stoudt set a Division 7 record with a 57-yard punt in the second quarter.

The teams combined for nine fumbles in the game.

Black Hawk wins its second State championship in four appearances in the finals. Edgar finishes runner-up in its 12th appearance in the final. 

via the WIAA

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